This week's "Sketches" looks at Caller of the Claw, the most-played card from Legions at this year's Regionals tournaments.
1. Art Description
These are the instructions given to the artist, Matt Cavotta. The card was called "Den Awakener" during set development:
Location: Wirewood Forest
Action: Show an elf who is peering into a cavern as bear-like creatures peer out at him. These creatures should be represented by shapes or shadows and should be bear-like but not a typical Earth bear."
Here is what Matt submitted:
Wait a minute… This isn't an elf peering into a cave. What gives?
Some artists, like Cavotta, that have played enough Magic to understand the game's concepts, will often take their own stab at designing art to match what the card does mechanically. So instead of referring to the art description, Matt went off of the card text and drew what he thought an Elf that put Bear tokens into play would look like.
Granted, sometimes the artist veers too far and the art can't be used. But Matt's interpretation of the card's mechanic was appropriate and accepted by the creative team.
3. Final Art
Here is a large version of the final piece. Very little has changed.
Finally, here is the card as you'll see it in booster packs.